RIPLEY - Coach Cara Williams' Ravenswood girls basketball squad held on for a 48-44 victory over the Lady Vikings of Ripley on Friday night at the Ripley Health Center.
The game was the consolation game in the Rod Hudson Memorial Tournament. Riverside and Sissonville faced off in the championship game with the Lady Indians taking the crown in 2012. Both squads lost highly competitive games on opening night as Ripley was edged by Riverside and Ravenswood fell to Sissonville.
It was redemption for the Devilettes, who fell in last year's championship game to Ripley.
The Devilettes led by as many as 18 in the first half of play but Ripley would not concede the game until the final buzzer sounded.
With a tough slate of games coming up for Ravenswood, Williams' game plan was to try to rest her starters in the second half. The strategy nearly backfired for the second year head coach.
Ravenswood's starters returned late in the fourth period to put the clamps on the tenacious Lady Viking squad. In the end, the plan got the result Ravenswood was looking for.
"Ripley did a good job of hitting free throws down the stretch.
They fought us to the end. I really wanted to rest our girls due to the nature of our schedule next week. We battled hard and thankfully we got the win. I am pleased with the effort we got from the entire team tonight," said Williams.
Ravenswood's one-thousand point scorer Hannah Murray, was relatively quiet in the tournament but made her presence known in key moments when her team needed a bucket. Melonna Carmichael drained a trey with a defender in her face and fed Hailey Miller on a beautiful cut to the basket for the assist.
Taylor Youell sparked the Devilettes in the fourth period with one of her trademark 3-point bombs from the wing that tickled the twine and helped seal the win for the red and black.
Youell has chosen to continue her athletic career after high school by signing early with the University of Charleston to continue her successful tennis career at the collegiate level.
For the winless Lady Vikings (0-8), it has been a tough road up to this point.
"We just need to get that first win. It is frustrating because we are working hard and we want to win. Our team is better than this," said junior guard Chelsey Hager after the game.
Ripley junior Sarah Williams has proven to be a force in the paint and hit six straight free throws in the fourth period that kept the Lady Vikings close in the final seconds. She hit 10-of-14 from the charity stripe in the game. Williams has done an outstanding job of taking the reins from graduated All Mountain State Athletic Conference center Paige Smith.
Williams turned in her second double-double in a week while leading all scorers in the game with 18 and pulling down 11 boards.
Ravenswood had balanced scoring with Taylor Treadway, Melonna Carmichael and Taylor Youell netting nine points each, Treadway added six rebounds and two steals and Youell added four assists, four rebounds and a steal.
Hannah Murray and Hailey Miller added six as Miller notched two steals and Murray added three assists, three steals and four rebounds. Kayla Scritchfield had four, Taylor Love three and Kindsey Torris two.
For Ripley, Jillian Mullins added 10, Chelsey Hager seven, Mikayla Pursley five and Ali Cunningham netted four. Versus Sissonville on opening night, Youell led with 14 points, two rebounds and four steals, Treadway followed with 13 points and two assists, Miller had seven, Carmichael six, Murray two and Scritchfield two.
Devilette sharp shooter Taylor Youell was named to the All-Tournament squad.
The Devilettes travel to Tyler Consolidated tonight and Ripley hosts Saint Albans on January 9.